What I Learned from the Arrogance of the Close-Minded...
As the saying goes: "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Some people have issues with ideas that are not familiar to them. They have a fallacy that demands repetition of their beliefs and thus results in a weakness in their beliefs. Once you know that that fallacy exists, it’s easy to identify those in as little as one or two conversations. How do I deal with people who are close-minded, totally stubborn in their beliefs and unreceptive to new ideas? When I feel certain I'm right and they’re wrong, but can’t seem to convince them to see things my way. And even when I'm in fact right, but that doesn’t prevent the others from resorting to irrational arguments to keep from agreeing with me. How do I deal with such situations?
As I explored these questions, I began to uncover the part of myself that is resisting what the other individuals represent to me. Then I consciously decide if I wish to continue holding onto that resistance or let it go. I know now that the more I resist about the world, the more time I spend defending my position and that the resistance comes from my ego. When my ego takes ownership of my ideas, it treats challenges to my ideas as a personal challenge, hence the need to defend myself as if being attacked. But when I keep my ideas separate from my ego, I feel no surge of resistance or defensiveness because there won’t be any attachment.
People are free to disagree with my ideas as much as they want, and that has nothing to do with me personally. I’m able to write my words sincerely while from the other person’s perspective, I’m sure they are right. I accept other's position and allow others to have opinions as well but I don’t take ownership of it myself. I use praise in order to let the flow of the ideas and try not to take ownership of these personally. I also introduce an absentee third party into the discussion whenever I have to disagree with someone. I learned that people get trapped in close-mindedness due to fear, especially the fear of being taken advantage of. Unconditional acceptance I learned, helps reduce some of that fear, which may be enough to convince them to lower their shields and open themselves to new ideas.
Remember: if you attack, attack, attack, you may win an argument now and then, but you’ll only drive the other person deeper into fear, causing them to invest even more energy in defending their position...
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